Friday, January 14, 2011

Much Love and Many Thanks

We have been overwhelmed with the love and care of those near and far as my Gigi went home to be with the Lord. We have been abundantly fed in all areas….. physically, emotionally and spiritually. We have been so blessed by the words of love, sympathy and encouragement that came in the form of cards and letters and still come from near and far… almost daily. The flowers and gift baskets were amazing….so beautiful and so many. It has been so neat to have people contact us from my grandparent’s history….family, people from childhood, others who worked with them, went to church with them or simply old and dear friends. All of them deeply impacted by my grandparents lives and they want to express that to us and give their love to Papa. Yesterday Papa was able to talk to a friend from his childhood who is 91 and still living…. living even in the same area where they grew up together! We were also able to connect with the wife of another friend from childhood (the friend passed away years ago) but his wife still keeps in touch. These relationships have stood the test of time, remained in touch over all these decades and now we are privileged to experience just a taste of the depths of these friendships. What I love the most are the Italian last names...Ranieri, Carducci, Panici…oh how I wish I could have spent just a few minutes in one of those home in the 20’s, 30’s and 40's! Those were very difficult times I know, but from the fascinating stories we have heard over the years from Papa, how neat it must have been. I can only imaging the amazing meals that came from those Italian kitchen's!

We are still astounded at the outpouring of love and service from our family and friends and from our precious church family. The meals came like crazy… hot ones…freezer ones…extra ones, dear friends taking our youngest children for the day, others coming to just be with us as we sat with Gigi for her last days on earth, loving on Papa and other family members that were here…genuine love in word and deed. Many details of the memorial service… programs, guestbook, the fellowship and food afterwards, clean up….all of it diligently taken care of by our dear, sweet church family. Words cannot express how thankful we are to have Silver Beach Community Church be where God has planted us for these last 10 years. We are especially thankful for our Pastor(s) and Elders and their example of loving and serving others in many practical ways. We thought we had known and experienced love at the hands of the body before, but these last few weeks far surpassed anything we could have imagined. What an encouragement it has been to our family as we are reminded how important it is to minister to others in their time of need or sorrow. Our church family is a beautiful gift from the hand of the Lord.

We are tremendously blessed.  We know it, are grateful for it, and don’t take it for granted...thank you.  We look forward to the opportunities to love others as we have been loved. 

Romans 12:9-21
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."


  1. Great writing Chessa, on the outpouring of love & friendship. When you mentioned Elmer Ranieri, he and Ed were the best of friends, and Elmer gave me my first job at his Gas Station on the corner, about 14 or 15 years of age and one bottle of Grapette as pay.
    Again thank you for all the updates.

    Great Uncle Ken & Aunt Patti

  2. I am sorry to hear of your loss, though I know it must be bitter sweet. Sweet knowing in whose arms she's resting and the bitterness of the feeling of loss. It's wonderful to have a great church family to lean on.

  3. Precious memories and a precious reminder of God's love for YOU!!

    We are so blessed to be a part of SBCC. That passage from Romans 12 is exemplified from the top down.

    We love you Honeys!!